Do Bathroom Fans Need To Be Vented?

Air Circulation General Proper Ventilation The Home The Workplace

Do Bathroom Fans Need To Be Vented?

Many home or commercial property owners ask if they really need to install bathroom fans when remodeling or adding a bathroom. The real answer is it depends on the building codes for your specific municipality. When a bathroom vent fan is not a building code requirement, some contractors may cut corners or vent the bathroom up into the attic.

But, not installing a bathroom fan or venting that goes anywhere other than outside the home can cause a homeowner many problems down the road.

Why You Need a Bathroom Vent Fan

Most jurisdictions require the installation of vent fans in certain areas of the home or property, including bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. The purpose of a bathroom exhaust fan is very simple - to quickly eliminate odors and remove moisture in the air that is common for these small, damp areas. A more complex idea that owners must grasp is how much damage trapped air that is warm and moist can do to a property.

Warm, moist air provides the perfect recipe for wood rot that goes unnoticed until a bathroom floor becomes spongy or the wallpaper and paint start showing signs of water damage. Also, consider the problem with interior venting into an attic where the insulation can become damp with moisture transfer that has accumulated on roofing members. This process of condensation on surfaces can speed up roof deterioration and create a condition where the attic insulation becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

The final reason why you need to install a bathroom vent fan in all your bathrooms is to protect the health of your family and others. Mold is common within any area that is warm and damp. Venting your bathroom removes the warm air and moisture that can accelerate the growth of mold spores. And take a close look at those bathroom cleaners that cut through soap scum and grime buildup, while also being effective at destroying bacteria and viruses. The manufacturer's instructions typically require these products to be used only in a well-ventilated space.

Proper Ventilation Fan Installation

A properly installed bathroom ventilation fan should terminate outside the property, typically by way of a vent cap. The vent line from the bathroom fan to the exit point should be free of leaks that would allow humid air to escape into the interior or structural members, including roof rafters and wall cavities. Even if your attic has a ventilation fan, a bathroom exhaust fan should not be vented to the attic because the mixture of hot, moist air before it leaves the attic can still form condensation resulting in structural damage.

A properly vented bathroom should exit an opening at either the top or side of the home. The vent must be installed to effectively move humid air past the waterproof barrier and shingles on your roof or beyond your home's siding or brick facade. Any other installation will not properly remove moist air. Instead, the moisture will condensate within hidden surfaces and start the process of material failure.

To prevent mold, mildew, and a possible roof collapse, always install the proper size exhaust fans in bathrooms and route vent lines up and out of the home. The best ventilation fans will not only remove foul odors, but also remove the moist, stale air from these small and medium-sized spaces. The object is to provide a continuous replacement of fresh, dry air to preserve your family's health, your interior decor, and the structural integrity of your home.

Visit us at Industrial Fans Direct for a large inventory of bathroom ventilation fans to fit any new construction or remodeling project.



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